The Competition Commission of India (CCI) organised the 9th National Conference on Economics of Competition Law in New Delhi. 

Dr Arvind Virmani, Member, NITI Aayog was the Keynote Speaker and Smt. Ravneet Kaur, Chairperson, CCI, delivered the Special Address at the Inaugural Session of the Conference. This was on Tuesday.

The Conference, which brought together scholars, practitioners, and experts working in the area of economics of competition law, is being organised by the CCI every year since 2016.

In his Keynote Address, Dr. Arvind Virmani, Member, NITI Aayog, elucidated the role of competitive markets in fostering inclusive growth and said, the vital elements of the Bharatiya Model of Inclusive Development were the Indic market economy, antodaya empowerment and a holistic approach. 

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Highlighting the specificities of the Indic market economy, Dr. Virmani said that the role of government and regulators here was to create efficient markets. In a developing economy context, competition regulation should be anchored in the overall objective of economic growth and efficiency, besides attempting to discipline and incentivise the private sector, he added. 

With regard to the imperative of creating missing markets and improving imperfect markets, Dr. Virmani referred to the unbundling of competitive and monopoly elements and auction mechanisms. He also talked about reforms in the last 10 years, including systematic policy reforms such as factor market reforms, institutional reforms such as IBC, GST as well other bureaucratic reforms and social welfare reforms.

Dr. Virmani underscored the need to account for share of imports and the open economy implications in the framework of competition assessment. Referring to tariff protection as an important determinant of competition in tradeable goods, Dr. Virmani said in case of inadequate competition, reduction in tariff may be considered. Hence, competition regulation cannot focus only on the local markets in isolation. While discussing how the digital sector is set to drive growth, Dr. Virmani discussed the recent initiatives to reduce inequality using digital and hybrid systems.

In her Special Address on the occasion, Smt. Ravneet Kaur stated that markets can deliver efficient outcomes to benefit the economy and consumers only when competitive opportunities are preserved and anti-competitive impediments are removed. Smt. Kaur said that the CCI’s endeavour has been to keep its interventions embedded in the understanding of economics of markets, the facts of the cases as well as sector specificities. 

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